What Is A Personal Digital Library?
A Personal Digital Library is an organized collection of all your digital media: Photos, Videos, Music, Books & Data. This media is available to all your devices: PC, TV, Laptop, Tablet, and Mobile, all the time.
There was a time when my Personal Digital Library was a photo of my family in my wallet. My music was on the radio, my TV shows were on TV and my movies were all at the movies.
Then technology exploded and I discovered that I have thousands of photos, streaming music, home, and music videos, all the movies and TV shows that I could ever want. I have all this stuff on my desktop computer, my laptop, my tablet, and on my mobile phone.
As my media collections grew so did my tricks and workarounds. I realized, after a lot of trial and error, that not all my stuff was available on all my devices. My photos were distributed across all my devices, so I learned how to download, synchronize, and copy these photos to that device and those photos to another device. Duplicate photos started popping up all over the place. I couldn't find the photos I wanted to show to my friends, or myself because they have all these weird names (numbers) and looking through hundreds of photos to find the one I wanted was such a hassle that I pretty much just stopped looking.
Same for my music, videos, and all my other stuff. I was overwhelmed with the media, and it just wasn't any fun anymore.
Let's keep things simple. Create a folder with one hundred of your favorite photos and another folder with your one hundred favorite songs, and so on like this:
- My TOP 100
- Home Videos
- TV Shows
Now you copy all these folders and content to the SD Card in your phone, your tablet, your laptop, and your desktop. OK, you now have your own Personal Digital Library. You can enjoy all your favorite media on all your devices, all the time.
- You can listen to your favorite music while you are driving, jogging, or just relaxing in your easy chair.
- You can share that photo of your spouse, your house, your car, or your dog, with your friends anytime.
- You can catch up on your favorite movie or TV Show during your lunchtime.
- You can enjoy your favorite media anytime, anywhere.
You can start to really enjoy your media not just collect it.
But what if you have 20,000 photos and are adding dozens more every week? And your music collection is a heck of a lot bigger than 100 songs. Just one of your TV Shows has 80 episodes and nobody can do with just one hundred favorite movies. Well, like they say, “That’s a whole new can of worms.”
The idea stays the same but the logistics and the strategy need to be upgraded to accommodate all the additional media. Your simple one hundred Favorites library will not work with all of these media. So how do you get all these media onto all your devices? How do you track additions and deletions? How do you back up and protect all this stuff? How do you find what you want when you want it? The “How To” solutions are what this website is all about.
“Wait a minute, what am I doing here? Am I just rearranging and organizing all of my spice jars or buying additional jars, additional spices, and new storage racks?” Well, you are doing all of this, some of this or none of this. Whatever works for you.
You already have your own personal digital library. In fact, you have a lot of personal digital libraries. You have your photo library on your phone and another on your PC and another one in the cloud on Amazon or Google or some other cloud storage service.
You have your home videos mixed up in the same libraries. Your movies may be on physical libraries, DVDs. You have more movies available on your cable TV service or your streaming video services. Same thing with your TV Shows. You have digital libraries all over the place. Here are some examples of very sophisticated digital libraries
Google Play Store: When you get apps for your Android phone, you usually go to the Google Play Store. You download your apps to your phone and the Play Store keeps track of what you have downloaded. You can check in the Play Store for "My Apps and Games" and find your library. You can see what you have installed on your phone, what you have downloaded, what needs updates, and so on. This is a digital library. It's the same for Books and Music, they are all in your digital library.
Your Neighborhood Library: You can walk into your neighborhood library and browse around until you find something you like and then check it out and return it after you have finished reading it. This same library has a digital version of itself online. It’s the same deal only you stay at home and go to the library using your computer. There you can browse around and check out what you like and then check it back in when you are finished. This is a digital library.
International Digital Libraries: Just like your neighborhood library, you can sign up for national or international digital libraries via your home computer. More selections, choices, better resources, and it all available on your computer. This is a digital library.
Creating Your Own Personal Digital Library
Wouldn't it be great if everything were organized and available all the time? Just a couple of taps or clicks and I could see all the photos of my daughter? Or listen to my favorite playlist no matter where I was?
All your digital media is organized and easily available 20/7 with no checkout, no fees, and no hassle. But just like the other digital libraries, all your digital files must be sorted out, identified, organized, and made easily available. It's a lot more than having a few dozen books in the living room bookcase.
For example, you need to consolidate all this stuff into one seamless library for just your personal use and enjoyment.
- Personal Digital Library
- Paper to digital photos
- Phone and other devices
- Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Home videos
- TV Shows
- Music files
- Important documents
It's not hard to do but it does take some effort to get it all together.
Is It Worth It?
Well, I think so. Is having a personal digital library more important than paying the bills or being with your family, not hardly. But it's a pretty cool thing to create and start enjoying your media.
I did it and I am glad I did. I am enjoying my media all the time now. I put together this website, which shows you how to do it yourself in sixteen steps. Some steps are simple, and some steps are complicated. A lot of this you have already done, you just need to understand how it all goes together.
Unless you are “Cast Away” on the island with Tom Hanks, I know you are already doing most of this stuff, but I also know that putting a little effort into organizing your own personal digital library will really pay off in personal enjoyment. It's something to think about.
Thought about it? Ready to get it done? Well, I did it. And you can do it too. Start right here.